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How To Buy The Best Foods For Cats With Feline Leukemia

Having your cat tested for feline leukemia can be a stressful experience.

If you've seen signs or were just undergoing a normal checkup, you're undoubtedly looking for methods to make your cat's life easier in the aftermath of this life-altering news.

Fortunately, with proper food and symptom control, cats can live quite a long time. The goal is to ensure that their immune system can keep up.

So BestForPets (bestforpets.org) compiled a list of the best foods for cats with feline leukemia that we could discover.

Here are our thoughts.


Best Value Iams Proactive Health High Protein Cat Food

If you’re searching for the best bang for your buck, we believe Iams Proactive Health High Protein cat food is the finest cat food for cats with feline leukemia.

It provides well-balanced nutrition for all life stages, supporting the immunological, digestive, and cardiovascular systems.

The main component in this recipe is actual chicken. There are no fillers or dangerous additives that will endanger your cat but will not break the wallet.

This dish has 439 calories per cup, for a total of 3,874 calories per bag. The product includes 38 percent crude protein, 18 percent crude fat, 3 percent crude fiber, and 10% moisture, according to the guaranteed analysis.

There are numerous prebiotics and beet pulp to help smooth the digestive tract and minimize the creation of hairballs. Overall, the price for the nutrients is unbeatable—but it may not be suitable for cats with dietary requirements.


  • Excellent value
  • Prebiotics for digestive health
  • Every stage of life


  • Dietary restrictions may not work.


Clean Protein Cat Food by Dr. Elsey’s

We greatly appreciated Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein Cat Food, despite its higher price tag. It contains all of the necessary elements to keep your FeLV-positive cat healthy and happy.

It simulates a more natural diet that your cat would find in the wild to provide them with only the nourishment they require. This poultry source is the first ingredient in this chicken-based recipe.

The third ingredient is pork, which is indicated as a protein source. All of the extra vitamins and minerals help your immunocompromised friend’s immune system.

This product has 544 calories each cup, for a total of 4,030 calories per bag. This product has a guaranteed analysis of 59 percent crude protein, 18 percent crude fat, 4 percent crude fiber, and 12 percent moisture.

Even if it’s a little pricey, it could make a major difference in your cat’s life. This food does, however, contain dried egg, which is an excellent source of protein for your cat.

However, some cats are allergic to eggs, so please contact with your veterinarian before changing your cat’s diet.


  • Excellent immune support
  • Ingredients derived from nature
  • A lot of calories


  • It contains possible allergens.


Nulo Freestyle Cat & Kitten Food – Best for Kittens

Our #1 recommendation for kittens with feline leukemia is Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Cat & Kitten Food.

It has a significant increase in protein, which they require to develop their growing bodies while also supporting a critical immune system for overall wellness.

The first four ingredients are all protein sources, which is more than we found in any other product. It uses pea protein instead of other possibly harmful fillers.

Plus, because this is a development and maintenance recipe, you don’t have to swap them into adulthood. This formula contains 463 calories each cup—3,696 calories per bag.

This product contains 40% crude protein, 18% crude fat, 4% crude fiber, and 10% moisture, according to the guaranteed analysis.

We enjoyed the kibble’s compact disc shape—it was a great bite for kittens and adults alike. Before giving a susceptible kitten any food, consult with your veterinarian.


  • Bite-sized pieces
  • Adults and kittens
  • Sources of protein for four items


  • Consult your veterinarian first.


Purina Pro Plan Wet Cat Food with High Protein

Purina Pro Plan True Nature High Protein cat food is an excellent source of nutrition, providing your cat with delectable flavors of ocean fish and trout.

It also has liver in it for an added fragrant kick. When you open this can of cat food, your friends will come running for the feast.

This composition provides a high concentration of 25 important vitamins and minerals to help your cat’s system. It is designed to provide your cat with lean muscle and a robust immune system so that he can stay strong and active.

There are 24 cans in total, with each can containing 66 calories. The can’s assured analysis is 11 percent crude protein, 5.5 percent crude fat, 1.5 percent crude fiber, and 78% moisture.

This dish is just one of many Purina True Instinct recipes available. They also offer a variety of tastes and grain-free choices. However, depending on the stage of sickness, your veterinarian may recommend various products for your unique feline.


  • Aromatic and moisturizing
  • 25 necessary vitamins and minerals
  • Immune system booster


  • It is possible that this method will not work for all cats.


Cat Food Natural Balance LID High Protein

The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet High Protein formula for FeLV positive cats was delicious.

It contains only the protein your cat needs while avoiding filler components that could clog their system unnecessarily, such as omitting potatoes for carb content.

Instead of meat meals, this product contains actual salmon as the first component and single protein source to offer a healthy amount of complete protein. The formula’s carbohydrate sources are peas and pea protein.

This product has 413 calories per cup, for a total of 3,760 calories per bag. The recipe contains 37% crude protein, 15% crude fat, 4% crude fiber, and 10% moisture, according to the guaranteed analysis.

Some cats are allergic to peas in recipes, so always test these items with food samples and consult your vet before making any dietary changes.


  • Unique protein source
  • Grain-free
  • Potato-free


  • Pea protein may not be beneficial to all cats.

Buyer's Guide: Choosing The Best Foods for Feline Leukemia Cats

What Exactly Is Feline Leukemia?

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus that weakens a cat’s immune system. It is solely found in felines and is not transmissible to other species. It does, however, spread quickly from cat to cat.

Unfortunately, there is no cure; nevertheless, it is treatable. Many cats with feline leukemia live long lives, but they must live alone to avoid spreading the disease to another healthy cat.

Feline Leukemia Symptoms

Asymptomatic feline leukemia is common. If your cat develops apparent symptoms, the infection may become more difficult to treat.

Among the symptoms are:

  • Anemia
  • Lethargy
  • Shaky walk
  • Fever
  • Loss of weight
  • Infection susceptibility
  • Weakness
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Cancer

Why Is Diet Management Vital?

Because cats suffering from leukemia have weakened immune systems, diet must be a priority in their daily lives.

One approach to maintain your cats’ immune systems functioning normally is to provide them a diet high in protein, antioxidants, and low in carbs.

Also, when it comes to diet selections, dry kibble isn’t the ideal option. They don’t get enough hydration or full protein, so if you prefer a dry kibble diet, supplement it with a brother or topper.

What Are the Most Important Nutrients?

High protein content

Protein is the most important component for your FeLV-positive cat. Because a cat’s natural diet is high in protein, it’s critical for immunological health to maintain during domestication.

Immunocompromised cats will require a higher protein intake, which is why they benefit from more.

Cats that do not obtain enough protein in their diet will begin to metabolize their own tissues, making them vulnerable to degeneration.

Carbohydrates are limited

Carbohydrates are simply a synonym for energy. Your immune-compromised cat will require adequate energy levels to maintain a normal state. Diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates help your cat maintain healthy levels of energy.

The amino acids

Amino acids, particularly taurine, are essential for cat health. These acids are involved in the metabolic process, where they store and transport nutrients throughout the body. This is crucial for your cat’s overall health and immunity.


Antioxidants reduce free radicals in the blood, protecting your cat’s cells and boosting immunity.

Can FeLV-positive cats consume raw food?

There are various misconceptions concerning raw food diets for cats.

With this ailment, cats are unable to fight off illness properly. However, properly prepared raw food really enhances your cat’s immunity.

This is a decision that you and your veterinarian must make together. Any nutritional changes, including raw food diets, should always be done under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Never make any final decisions without first seeking competent advice.


We prefer our top pick, the Smalls Ground Bird Recipe, over the others. It’s easy to consume for your cat and aromatic, which promotes a healthy appetite.

Your cat will benefit from the added moisture in its diet, and the protein pieces won’t harm either.

Don’t forget to check out Iams Proactive Health High Protein if you’re searching for the greatest nutritional bang for your budget. It is loaded with the best nourishment to safeguard your FeLV-positive kitty, and it is affordable.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hopes we’ve exposed you to some best foods for cats with feline leukemia that you can consider with your veterinarian, either as a standalone diet or as an addition.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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